Settlements > Thapsacus

Thapsacus

Background

Thapsacus (Ancient Greek: Θάψακος, translit. Thapsakos; Hebrew: תִּפְסַח‎ Tipsah) was an ancient town along the western bank of the Euphrates river that would now lie in modern Syria or Turkey. Thapsacus was the Greek and Roman name for the town. The town was important and prosperous due to its river crossing, which allowed east-west land traffic to pass through it. Its precise location is unknown and there are several different locations identified as the site of Thapsacus.

One possibility is a location close to Carchemish, which now lies in Turkey, on its border with Syria. Karkamış and Jarabulus are the closest modern towns in Turkey and Syria respectively. More recently it has been suggested that Thapsacus was renamed to Seleucia at the Zeugma, which lies further upstream on the Euphrates. Arrian writes that Alexander the Great kept the Euphrates and the Armenian mountains on his left after he crossed the Euphrates at Thapsacus in 331 BC. Engels interprets this as additional support for a location near Carchemish

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

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